Featured Research Project
“Improving robotic surgery”
Dorsey Standish, 2009, Engineering
For my PURM project, my mentor, Dr. Katherine Kuchenbecker, set a goal of improving the quality of robotic surgery. Delving into this medical application of mechanical engineering allowed me to collaborate with PhD students Will McMahan and Joe Romano as well as Masters student Jamie Gewirtz. I even got the chance to mentor a high school student, Jared Katz, who spent six weeks working in the Haptics Lab this summer. In collaboration with these other students, I investigated ways to improve Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci System, a robot used for minimally invasive urological and cardiac surgery. We aimed to give the surgeon improved tactile feedback; our research’s tagline became “Feel what you see.”
Recent Awards & News
University of Pennsylvania senior Sonya Davey has been awarded a 2014 Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
She is among 40 American students awarded Gates Cambridge scholarships this year and is the 24th Gates Cambridge Scholar from Penn since the program began in 2001.
Davey, of Gaithersburg, Md., is majoring in global health and societies, South Asian studies and biology at Penn. In addition to being a certified EMT, she has conducted fieldwork in India focused on women’s health, specifically female feticide or sex-selective abortion, and conduced undergraduate research in colorectal cancer as an intern at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Davey started a social venture called Ultrasafe Ultrasound, designed to curb female feticide through innovative ultrasound technology that automatically blurs the genitals in ultrasound images.
Davey has a passion for languages. She speaks and writes Hindi, Gujarati and Sanskrit, has studied Latin and is studying Telugu. Her long-term goals include becoming a physician-anthropologist and opening an obstetric clinic in India.
It’s time to start thinking about the summer! CURF is here to help you do just that. From research grants to internships and everything in between, we want you to have the most productive and interesting summer yet. Click through for some options.
Four University of Pennsylvania students have received Thouron Awards to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom. The scholarship recipients are:
- Christi Economy of Santa Rosa, CA, majoring in economics and international relations, is applying to the University of Oxford for an MPP.
- Sonya Davey of Southbridge, MA, majoring in health and societies, South Asian studies and biology, is applying to the University of Oxford for a master’s degree in medical anthropology.
- Allison Pearce of Alexandria, VA, majoring in computer science, is applying to the University of Cambridge for a master’s degree in advanced computer science.
- Carson Woodbury of West Hartford, CT, majoring in classical studies and biology, is applying to the University of Cambridge for a master’s degree in biological science (genetics).
Sarah Foster, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded a Winston Churchill Scholarship, a merit-based award for American college students who are outstanding in engineering, mathematics, and physical and biological sciences, and who wish to further their academic careers by studying at the University of Cambridge, where she will live at Churchill College.
Foster, of Ohio, is pursuing a triple major in Physics, Biochemistry, and Biophysics as well as a MS in Chemistry at Penn. She is a Vagelos Scholar, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a Junior, and won the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2013.
“Sarah Foster exemplifies the multidisciplinary student who will be making key advances in science in coming decades. She is knitting together whole-organism research in Biology, the abstract mathematical approaches to nature found in advanced Physics classes, and everything in between,” said Dr. Philip Nelson, Professor of Biophysics.
Foster is one of only 14 U.S. students awarded Churchill Scholarships this year and is the 7th Churchill Scholar from Penn since the program’s inception in 1963 and the first in ten years.
CURF will not be available by phone on Friday, January 3 or Monday, January 6—we’re moving back to the ARCH, and our computers and phones are getting packed up! We’re all still available by email, however. Happy new year!